The sale transfers four anvils, Pro-Forge, Anvil Stump, Ruidoso Hoof Gauge, hoof stands, propane forge swing-out arms and miscellaneous tools to the Well-Shod umbrella.
“We’ve always been interested in adding manufacturing products to Well-Shod,” says John Harshbarger, owner of Well-Shod. “Cliff has built a reputation on quality with really nice products. He might do things the hard way a little bit, but the extra steps that he takes on some things shine through in the end. It’s something that we wanted for our business and they are all made in the U.S.A., which is also important to us.”
The move allows Carroll to begin entertaining the thought of retiring after more than a half-century in the industry.
“It’s probably time,” says the Larkspur, Colo., farrier. “I probably should have done it 10 years ago, but just didn’t happen.”
The work isn’t over just yet for Carroll. His time is consumed with training Timmy Snider and J.J. Armendariz, both of Well-Shod, how to manufacture the products, build up inventory to avoid backorders, then pack and ship the heavy equipment to the Texas Panhandle. Snider is Harshbarger’s long-time business partner.
“Hopefully, we’ll be in production in our shop the first of September,” Harshbarger says. “They’ve built 100 anvil stumps. Now, they’re shipping the stumps and the equipment used to make them to Amarillo. We’re piecing them together as we go over the next couple of months.”
The sale only involves the manufacturing end of Carroll’s business, leaving the farrier supply shop, but maybe not for long.
“I’ll see what I’m going to do with the supply business that I have,” he says. “I might sell that to someone locally because it’s more like a local business. I might even sell the real estate — my house and buildings. I don’t have much of a plan, to be honest. I’m just going to play it by ear.”
Carroll began his shoeing career in the late 1960s in Toronto, Canada. Just a few years later, he began splitting time shoeing Thoroughbred racehorses during the winter at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla. By the early 1980s, Carroll relocated to Colorado where he opened the supply shop and shod neighborhood saddle horses.
“I had the supply business going for several years and decided that now is the time to look into trying to manufacture some products that I thought would sell in the horseshoeing industry,” he recalls. “I started making a 2-pound Champion hammer and a 70-pound shoeing anvil. Things just went from there. I kept adding to it and it grew to be much bigger than the supply business. It took every bit of our time and effort. It’s been quite the journey.”